I was thinking about an ex-boyfriend from long ago who used to struggle with performance anxiety and it got me wondering how many men are affected by this. So I did some research and spoke to some friends to find out how common it is and what the best treatment options are.
So, does your boyfriend have performance anxiety? He’s not alone and neither are you. According to Healthline, sexual performance anxiety affects 26 percent of adult men under 40. When I spoke to my girlfriends about this, those who were open enough to share with me, 2 out of 5 of us shared that our boyfriends sometimes struggled to get started or to finish.
Guys having sexual performance anxiety, especially at the beginning of a relationship is a lot more common than you think. Apart from the ex I mentioned above, I dated someone else who had had trouble with other partners. Obviously he didn’t admit it to me and we didn’t talk openly about it but there were signs. I’ll share a bit about what those signs are, how you can tell if this is a one-time thing or if it’s going to be a longterm problem, and what you can do to help him as a girlfriend.
Signs That Your Boyfriend Has Sexual Performance Anxiety
Photo credit: For Hims
The very first sign that your boyfriend has sexual performance anxiety is, well, pretty obvious. You might be making out, then things get sexy, you get even more intimate, and then suddenly you realize that the sexy train is silently screeching to a halt and it gets mega awkward pretty fast.
The more sneaky signs are that he’ll kind of stop being intimate and pretend to have lost interest in you for the moment. This is a real douchebag move and it makes you feel like crap and self-conscious. Just know that he is doing this so you won’t realize that the problem is actually him and instead, you will blame yourself. If you spot this type of dishonesty in a guy from the beginning, just stay cautious.
Another sign that your guy has ED sometimes is that he’ll be really surprised and happy when things go well without any glitches. He’s super relieved that it hasn’t happened again to him and he’s very happy that you’re that one who helped him to not be anxious and lose his momentum. If this is his reaction, then this is not a longterm problem and you relax and can expect a happy ending most of the time.
How To Help Your Boyfriend With ED
The number one thing you can do to help your boyfriend or someone you are dating with ED or simple sexual performance anxiety is to, first of all, be comfortable with yourself. Just relax and don’t worry about what you’re wearing, whether you look fat, or whether he is judging your sexy moves. You can believe that he is loving it all, and when you feel good about what you’re doing, you will relax, and in turn, he will relax and the chances of him struggling to finish or finishing too early will be much less.
This is true especially at the beginning of a relationship.
If the problem persists, however, it’s crucial to figure out the root of the problem first so that you can seek the best treatment as a couple or he alone from an ED doctor or urologist. Ask yourself, is his performance anxiety linked to external conflicts or internal conflicts? Figuring this out will help you choose the right way to approach the topic with him.
Maybe he just has fears and apprehensions when it comes to sex because he has hyped it up too much or he thinks it’s the most important thing in a relationship. You can help him understand that sex is only a part of a healthy relationship and the entire thing doesn’t depend only on that.
If you think that speaking to a doctor and getting a prescription for ED medication would help him more, and help you both as a couple to spend more time being intimate, you should encourage and support him. Don’t make him feel like an old man or feel judged about it. You’re in this together and let him know that, because after all, the one who will benefit most from this is you!
How To Talk To Your Boyfriend About ED
Incorporating sex into a regular topic of conversation with your partner may seem a bit awkward at first, but opening up this line of communication is important for everyone, especially if one of you have anxiety about sex and it is affecting your relationship.
Start by privately talking to your partner about your likes, dislikes, sexual history, and other thoughts you have concerning sex, and be sure to ask about theirs. Sharing these feelings will deepen your connection and ultimately make your sexual experiences together more pleasurable.
I have to be honest though. I didn’t talk openly about my ex’s and my difficulty in this area with him. I wish I had. I don’t think it would have made us stay together because there were many other good reasons for us to split, but it might have helped us be more open and honest with each other.
If I had spoken to him openly about it, maybe I would have helped him be more himself and helped him feel more accepted. Maybe I had played a part in making him anxious and I didn’t want to acknowledge that, so I didn’t say anything. Or maybe I was simply uncomfortable to mention anything. Either way, I wish we had spoken about it.
Talking about your past sexual experience, partners, etc. and also about fears when it comes to sex or your partner cheating on you can make you feel uncomfortable for days. But speaking from experience, I have to say that talking about it will help you as a couple in the long run. You’ll be uncomfortable for a few days but it could buy you a few years together, so it’s worth it.
Cover Photo credit: Josep. Ma Rosell on Flickr